Doctors and hospitals may expect immediate cash payment for any medical treatment so health insurance is advisable.
A yellow fever vaccination certificate is required from travelers over one year of age coming from infected areas.
Cholera is also a serious risk and precautions are essential. Up-to-date advice should be sought before deciding if these precautions should include vaccination as medical opinion is divided over its effectiveness.
Typhoid immunization is usually advised.
Malaria risk, predominantly in the malignant falciparum form, exists year round. Check for up-to-date information before you travel. BE AWARE: Lariam (mefloquine) is an anti-malarial drug used in regions of the world where chloroquine resistant falciparum malaria is prevalent. e.g. East Africa, South East Asia. Possible side effects of lariam such as dizziness, blurred vision and a disturbed sense of balance are common and could cause problems for divers. These effects can often imitate or even worsen the symptoms of DCI. There could also be confusion between the side effects of lariam and the symptoms of DCI or nitrogen narcosis resulting in a misleading diagnosis.
Stinging hydroids in the water can be a problem. A thin lycra suit could also provide much needed protection from the sun.
Djibouti's coastline is on the southwestern extremity of the Red Sea and the Gulf of Tadjourah. Between September and January, it is home to resting migrating whale sharks. It is common to see many whale sharks including juveniles who stay within the safe confines of the coast line.
Coral cover isn't so great in the southern Red Sea, but there are a lot of fish, with the chance of some unusual encounters like giant nudibranch and mobula rays.
Djibouti is a liveaboard destination.
The best dive sites are in the north, around the Seven Brothers islands. These remote uninhabited islands lie in the narrow Bab El-Mandab straits, which marks the southern entrance to the Red Sea. A range of superb dive sites offers some of Djibouti's most bio-diverse diving. Strong currents (so advanced divers only!) and extremely fine corals are a feature of many of the dives around the Sept Freres.
Visit from mid-October to late January and you have chance to see the extraordinary whale shark aggregation at Arta Beach, but the visibility is poor. Visibility during UK summer time is better, but there's less chance of seeing the whale sharks and it's very, very hot.